Mike Denbrock back with Notre Dame after prostate cancer surgery

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock has returned to the field after surgery in late July to battle prostate cancer, which was discovered over the summer. 

Denbrock had to miss the team's five-day mini-camp in nearby Culver, Ind., though he did keep tabs on things over the phone and through watching practice tape on his iPad. 

“I’m not going to say how much I’ve been involved in what’s been going on (with the team), because my wife and my doctor will probably hunt me down and get after me,” Denbrock told the South Bend Tribune. “But I’ve been able to do more than I anticipated I would to this point.”

Denbrock, 50, was promoted to offensive coordinator in January - head coach Brian Kelly will call plays - and has had to pick his spots as he works with returning quarterback Everett Golson to install the Irish's new hurry-up attack. 

“I have to pick my spots,” he said. “It’s just that some things get a little frustrating, and it’s hard to keep it under control. I’ve got to be careful obviously about being too aggressive too fast.”

Though Denbrock's case is the most high-profile, he is not the only Notre Dame assistant currently battling cancer. Graduate assistant Kyle McCarthy is currently fighting his own battle with the disease, alternating between coaching the Irish safeties and undergoing chemotherapy. 

“He's an incredible young man,” Kelly said. “Some people obviously don't take very well to those treatments. He was on the field coaching the safeties like it was his first day of practice. He'll have a week off, and then he'll go back into another round of treatments the following week. But he expects to be here through his treatments. We've made accommodations for him if he needs to be off the field. The NCAA has made an accommodation for us, as well, in that we can hire another graduate assistant if we are forced to pull him off the field. So if we have to do that, we can act on it. But we're going to hold off right now.”

Our best wishes go out to both coaches in their recovery.

Read more here.

Video: Art Briles leads a tour of his office

Take a tour of Art Briles' office in Waco here, courtesy of the Big 12 Digital Network.

As Briles explains, his office isn't very big, but it does fit his needs. Really all he needs is a computer to keep on recruiting. Attached to his office is a recruiting room where you'll find jerseys of Robert Griffin III, renderings of McLane Stadium, and of course the 2013 Big 12 Championship trophy.

His office isn't filled with a ton of personal stuff, but it is littered with some solid reading material (mostly autobiographies), and his best memories of Baylor with pictures of first round draft picks, and other keepsakes of some of the best Bear players of the Briles everywhere you look.

Asked if he could take only one thing from his current office if he were to ever move to another location on campus, Briles quickly responded by saying the Big 12 title trophy.

"That's not mine, but I would certainly keep it in safe holding. That's irreplaceable" he notes in the clip.

UTSA's new gloves are both historically awesome and swag-tastic


UTSA freshman defensive back Michael Egwuagu tweeted out this picture of their newest gloves recently. Come to find out, the "Come and Take it" mantra has a lot more meaning to it than just being another piece of swag.

In short, the "Come and Take it" battle cry is a recognized symbol of Texas that was initially placed on a homemade flag back in the mid-1800's during a battle between Gonzales, TX settlers and the Mexican government. That battle eventually sparked the fight for Texas' independence.

UTSA has kind of adopted the phrase, occasionally taking the field at the Alamodome with their own version of the flag

As far as meaningful mantra's in the world of college football go, "Come and take it", and the history that goes along with it, makes this about as good as it gets.

Every Power Five coach's career record vs. the Top 25

The Wall Street Journal has published a wonderful chart showcasing every current Power Five head coach's career record versus Top 25 opponents.


Before we can draw any conclusions, we must first acknowledge that numbers here can be incredibly deceiving. For example, the situation David Shaw inherited at Stanford is entirely different than what Mark Stoops walked into at Kentucky. Also, games against Top 25 opponents are, by definition, very difficult. A .500 mark is great, and anything better is pretty darn impressive.

With that said: 

- Holy cow, David Shaw. He's won nearly 80 percent of his games against top 25 teams. 

- A hearty handshake is owed to Bob Stoops (.685 winning percentage), Nick Saban (.588 overall, .700 at Alabama) Urban Meyer (.676) and Les Miles (.563 overall, .661 at LSU).

- More than anything, this chart is a great illustration how doggedly difficult it is to get a struggling program off the ground in a Power Five conference. Bret Bielema went 0-6 last year at Arkansas. Charlie Weis is 0-8 at Kansas. Tim Beckman and Kevin Wilson are a combined 0-11 in the Big Ten. New head coaches were a combined 9-43 last season against ranked opponents. Take out Gus Malzahn and Mark Helfrich and they were 3-40. Three and forty.

- Even new coaches that have seen success in their first few years have taken a beating against Top 25 teams. Rich Rod is 3-7 at Arizona. James Franklin went 1-8 against Vanderbilt. David Cutcliffe is 2-13 at Duke. Hugh Freeze is 2-7 against Ole Miss. Heck, Dan Mullen is 2-21 at Mississippi State. That's an .087 winning percentage. 

- The plethora of sub-.500 records makes me chuckle at the results of ESPN's poll where nearly half of all Power Five coaches would prefer to exclusively play other Power Five schools. Believe me, guys, you don't. 

Great things happen at a "Fall Camp Manhood Retreat"

For the past seven the Abilene Christian football program has taken a "Manhood Retreat" during August camp. Read that again: during August camp. 

The staff at Abilene Christian believes that spending two days focusing on "what God designed us to be as men" in lieu of a couple of practices and a positional meetings is a wise investment in their program and their young men. I agree with them. I don't know that I would for a program with a new staff / scheme; but when you have continuity, I have to believe the investment in getting the players to believe in, and want to work for, each other is priceless. This is about preparing these young men to have success in life, and on the football field. 

ACU head coach Ken Collums tells FootballScoop that 10 days or so into camp, they take the players and coaches for a two-day retreat where the players rest, play, interact and grow spiritually together. At the retreat they do not talk about football at all, instead they listen to speakers, dance, sing...and they have fun too. Cue the blob video:

Yeah, that's head coach Ken Collums there on the right being "blobbed" high into the sky...only to perfectly pull off the fabled cannonball!

Abilene Christian's annual "Manhood Retreat" has to be one of the most unique events in major college football; and it would be hard to argue with the results. ACU was a Division II powerhouse before beginning their transition to FCS. This will be their first full season competing exclusively at the FCS level. ACU opens their season a week from tonight on ESPNU at Georgia State.  

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